MUSCLE SHOALS — An attorney representing terminated Muscle Shoals police officer Greg Scoggins is calling for a new Civil Service Board to hear his client’s appeal.
Underwood sent a letter to Muscle Shoals Mayor David Bradford and Bill Aycock, chairman of the city’s Civil Service Board, on Thursday afternoon.
In the letter, Underwood claims the Civil Service Board has been “compromised.” He said he has information that two members of the Civil Service Board discussed the case with Muscle Shoals Police Chief Robert Evans at the Jan. 8 Civil Service Board meeting.
“They entered into discussions with Evans regarding the policy rules and procedures that were followed,” Underwood said in his letter to Bradford.
He said as far as he is concerned, the entire board has been compromised.
“They shouldn’t have been talking about the hearing nor going into the merits of the case (with the chief),” Underwood said.
Underwood said it is his understanding that the two members who talked with Evans voiced their sentiment of upholding the mayor’s ruling.
“This seems to be more of a Kangaroo Court atmosphere than a fair and impartial hearing before the Civil Service Board,” Underwood wrote in his letter to Bradford.
Evans said there were some general statements made, “but nothing specific about the case.”
Scoggins was terminated Dec. 27, four days after being accused of shooting a deer on Tennessee Valley Authority property while on duty.
Mayor David Bradford upheld the termination last week, and Scoggins has appealed that decision to the Civil Service Board.
Muscle Shoals city attorney Marcel Black said Thursday the date for the hearing has been changed to 1 p.m. Tuesday because of a scheduling conflict. Black said he was notified late Wednesday about the change. The hearing was originally set for Jan. 17.
Underwood, in his letter, has asked for the hearing to be postponed until March.
“I have asked for the hearing to be continued until after the charges (against Scoggins) are adjudicated,” Underwood said. “And I have asked for a speedy trial in (Colbert County) district court.”
The Alabama Department of Conservation Game and Fish Division charged Scoggins with reckless endangerment, hunting without a permit and hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle. All charges are misdemeanors.
A court date has not been scheduled.
“I would hope they will grant me this change (of the hearing date), but if they don’t, I’ll be there to present what I can,” Underwood said. “If they don’t it’s a miscarriage of justice. They are wanting Scoggins to testify about the case before it is tried in district court.”
City officials said Scoggins shot and killed a deer on TVA property that fronts Second Street.
Scoggins, who worked with the department since 2001, was initially placed on administrative leave and later terminated.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.